My Magical Journey through The Arcanum
Life is hard and often unforgiving. It’s filled with uncertainty and misgivings…but sometimes, magic happens when you least expect it.
I began taking photography seriously as art and as a form of self-expression in 2010 when I purchased my first DSLR which I had little clue how to actually use. I began the process of self- educating not only on how to use the camera, but also in the art of photography in general. I spent copious hours reading, hours researching, hours watching tutorials. It seemed as though each new nugget of information led me yet deeper into the secrets and mystery that was photography. As soon as I felt I had a grasp of one aspect, another related topic would surface that needed further research and study. Being married to a practicing fine artist and Professor of Art was also a valuable asset in my journey, as was my own past experiences in art classes. My husband’s trained eye looking at my work and his useful critiques were incredibly beneficial as were our many trips to galleries and art shows over the previous years. We would constantly discuss what was good, or lacking, in any pieces of art we would happen across. With these resources I was off and running. I had no idea where I was running to…but I was off nonetheless!
Having spent the previous decade raising and homeschooling my five children, self-directed learning was something I understood and valued. Photography became a quiet spot in my day-to-day life. It allowed me to enter my own contemplative world away from the demands of a large family even if I went only so far as my own backyard.
In 2011 our family entered a sea of uncertainty, and not coincidentally amidst that uncertainty, the pursuit of my chosen art form picked up steam. In 2012, we family moved from our home of five years back to California and my husband entered a PhD program. All of our children entered public school that year, except for our preschooler who entered the following year. During this time, my pursuit of photography continued. As I began familiarizing myself with contemporary photographers, Varina Patel stood out. Her beautiful work resonated with me and her informative blog posts had helped to guide me.
The Arcanum is Born
In the spring of 2014, I began hearing about a new learning community through Trey Ratcliff’s Google+ posts, the community was called The Arcanum. I considered applying, but I really wasn’t sure. Then I saw that Varina Patel was going to be a Master. I watched her introductory Meet the Master video and I decided to actually apply, thinking that perhaps I’d be picked by someone at some point down the line. If I was lucky.
Within weeks I received an invitation from a Master to be an Apprentice in what turned out to be the very first cohort…the invitation was from none-other than Varina Patel! I was shocked and elated. I could not hit “Accept” fast enough! It was a most fortunate turn of events in my life. Continue reading